Pub investigated after crowds lined the street for the lockdown to reopen

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People line up outside The Oak Inn in Coventry, hoping to enjoy their first pints after the lockdown moments after midnight as restrictions across the UK are partially relaxed.  The establishment is licensed until 6 a.m. and also plans to sell food throughout the night, such as pizzas, burgers, and kebabs.  April 11, 2021.


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Coventry City Council investigates The Oak Inn near Coventry University (SWNS)

Local council is investigating a pub in Coventry after photos showed crowds waiting outside midnight for it to reopen.

A long line of people arrived at The Oak Inn near Coventry University as coronavirus restrictions eased in England overnight.

Videos posted on social media showed more than 100 people lined up on the street after announcing plans to open up its large outdoor space with heaters, marquees and blankets.

While images of crowds in the venue’s garden appeared to show them well spaced and following national guidelines of no more than six per table, social distancing did not appear to be enforced in the queue outside.

A spokeswoman for Coventry City Council confirmed the pub was under investigation.

She said: “People are starting to take advantage of the easing of restrictions and with the city starting to reopen non-essential stores and hospitality from today, we want to remind everyone about it. importance of following the rules.

“This includes social distancing and staying two meters from each other, wearing face coverings in public and washing hands regularly when visiting venues.

A crowd gathered outside (SWNS)
People line up outside The Oak Inn in Coventry, hoping to enjoy their first pints after the lockdown moments after midnight as restrictions across the UK are partially relaxed.  The establishment is licensed until 6 a.m. and also plans to sell food all night long, such as pizzas, burgers, and kebabs.  April 11, 2021.
People line up outside the Oak Inn in Coventry (SWNS)

The spokesperson added, “We will investigate any location that does not follow these rules or has difficulty with large queues or unmanageable amounts of visitors.

Darren Lee, owner of the Oak Inn, said he could not respond to the advice because he had not contacted it yet, but said he believed the place had been operating within the rules.

“We always do things correctly and safely… we were able to go out according to national guidelines,” he said.

A post on the venue’s Facebook page before the opening read: “I am so excited to welcome everyone just after midnight tonight until 6 am. No reservation necessary… first come, first served! “

The scenes came as Boris Johnson urged the public to ‘behave responsibly’ as pubs, shops and a range of entertainment venues were allowed to reopen with social distancing measures in place for the first time this year.

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